Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Mayfair Tower: C&NW vs. C&NW vs. Milwaukee

(CRJ; Satellite)

Also called Tower CO by C&NW. Mayfair Yard was just a little southwest of this tower.

This tower controlled the crossing of the Chicago & North Western and the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific near Cicero (was Jefferson in 1897) Avenue a little north of Montrose Avenue. The following 1897 map shows another railroad crossed the C&NW next to the Milwaukee. If you look at a modern map, you will see that the crossing has been removed by having the south branch join the C&NW main and then the north branch diverges from the main.

Bird's Eye View
The photo shows the C&NW has 3 tracks and the Milwaukee has 2 tracks. I was surprised that a contemporary satellite image shows the same number of tracks. The railroads tend to remove tracks from their routes.

According to the satellite image, both routes are elevated, so I can't drive there and easily verify that the jointed rail in the photo has been replaced with CWR (Continuous Welded Rail).

The junction is in the upper-left corner of the Bird's Eye View. If you zoom in and pan the area between the raillines, you can see that many of the smokestacks in the background of the photo are still standing. I counted seven in the Bing Map.

Lou Gerard posted
Penn Central E8 4061 leads an Amtrak train to Milwaukee past Mayfair Tower in July 1973.
Steven J. Brown posted
Milwaukee Road GP38-2 354 (built 1973, became Soo Line 4504 to KCS 2022) at Mayfair Tower in Chicago, Illinois - June 7, 1977.

Steven J. Brown shared
Doug Jirsa Great composition!
Steven J. Brown 15 year old me thanks you! (Present me too.)
Albert Carello In Milwaukee Road's final years those Freights would be seen frequently on the mainline going through Morton Grove, Glenview, Golf, and Techny on the passenger mainline!

One of eight photos posted by David Thompson
Recently on the Forgotten Chicago Discussion Page a member has posted pictures of the Expressways being built. Here are some railroad related items. All pictures are mid to late 50s.

Mayfair Tower on left with unfinished NW Expwy. Kennedy at Edens Junction. (Chuck Sanders Collection)
Marty Bernard posted
I was bumming around the north side of Chicago on June 24, 1973 and at Mayfair Tower I caught a CNW light engine move. The Tower is located on Cicero Avenue just north of Montrose Avenue. The two lines that cross there are the Union Pacific's ex-C&NW Northwest Line and the Metra Milwaukee North route, which is the former Milwaukee Road main line to Milwaukee and the Twin Cities. Mayfair Tower was closed in 1997 and razed the same year.

Marty Bernard shared
Glen Koshiol: Mayfair at on time was busy as it was the route to 40th st. And a connection to the BRC at Augusta Blvd. Used to deliver CNW cars in the three track yard.
Pete Fileca: Is that light signal on the left green?
Jon Roma: Pete Fileca, that's a train order signal.
John Haynes: Is there anything in particular that marks a train order signal as such, or is it simply part of the physical characteristics of the territory to know what it is? From what I’ve seen, placement often gives a train order signal away as such (i.e. very close to the tower, or diamond).
Jon Roma: John Haynes, it is distinguished from an absolute signal by being inside the plant, and on the left side of the track. In the absence of special instructions to the contrary, a train order signal governed ALL movements traveling in the direction it faced, regardless of which track.
However, as you noted, an employee's physical characteristics qualification is important to recognize what the signal is – and even more important, how to respond to it (or to observe if an indication is absent).

Marty Bernard shared
Kenneth Pochocki: I got a feeling that the Crandell is OTS and being towed to 40th street M19A

Steven J. Brown posted a couple of pictures. His comment:
Two images of trains at Mayfair taken standing on the the same spot. The slide mounts say June 1982, but from the lighting and the leafless trees, I suspect it is probably February or March. The first frame is RTA (later Metra) F40PH 128 on the Chicago and Northwestern Northwest line. Turning slightly right and waiting just a few moments, F40C 46 on a Milwaukee Road North line train.

Steven J. Brown posted
The last bit of light is fading as Metra F40C 610 heads for Fox Lake thru Mayfair in Chicago. A CNW freight waits on the Skokie Valley line for the rush hour to abate so it can get across the Northwest Line to 40th Street Yard. March 18, 1988.
Mark Hinsdale posted
... @ Mayfair in Chicago's Northwest. Crossing of Chicago & North Western's Northwest Line, from Chicago to Harvard and Madison WI, and Milwaukee Road's Chicago to Milwaukee main line. Here, 5031B leads a long rush hour train out of town in June, 1977. Photo by Mark Hinsdale
Jon Roma commented on above posting
The attached diagram shows what the plant looked like before it was rationalized and remote controlled.

According to my records, the resignaling of Mayfair interlocking
 was completed and control transferred to the operator at ex-C&NW "CY" Tower at Clybourn on November 16, 1996.

Mayfair also controlled the Grayland interlocking; when the above change took place in late 1996, Metra operators were sent to Mayfair to operate the Grayland plant, until Metra's signal department converted that plant to be remote controlled from their Tower A-5, on March 3, 1997, at which time Mayfair Tower was closed for good. The tower was demolished on December 18, 1997.

Douglas Kydd posted
F-40-C at Mayfair Interlocking - 1976
Matt Ignowski obviously Mayfair has changed a lot, new platforms, searchlights are gone, the tower is gone the UP Craigin lead is single tracked and no longer sees anything more than a one car local and the weber sub sadly is long gone.
Mark Llanuza posted
We go back to 1980 were at Mayfair tower with covered wagons coming off the Skokie line at Mayfair towerJeff Lewis 6 of them working a branch line? How long was that train?
Carl Venzke posted
Milwaukee Road's 'Olympian Hiawatha' at Mayfair Tower. The Skytop sleeper-observation car of Milwaukee Road's Olympian Hiawatha bangs across the C&NW diamonds in a 1952 view from the tower at Mayfair, on the north side of Chicago. W. A. Akin Jr. photo
[Note the silos of a retail coal company.]

Jim Arvites posted
Jon Roma The photo looks compass north-northwest.
Jon Roma The powerhouse behind the elevator still stands north of the Kennedy Expressway today.
[The "powerhouse" is a water supply pumping station.]

Jim Arvites posted
On this Day in History on May 24, 1961 the Milwaukee Road's premier passenger train the "Olympian Hiawatha" completed its final runs between Chicago and Seattle/Tacoma. Picture below of the "Olympian Hiawatha" crossing the C&NW Diamonds at Mayfair on the northside of Chicago in 1952.
(W.A. Akins Jr. Photo)
Andrew Stiffler Whose signal bridge is on the far right?
Ryan James Boyle I think that the Weber branch to Evanston. Bridge over the Edens still extant, ROW is now a trail through Sauganash.
Jon Roma Ryan James Boyle, actually both the Weber and Skokie Subdivisions joined there.

Jim Arvites posted
Kevin P. Keefe Correct spelling of the photographer is Akin, not Atkins. Bill Akin was a longtime Kalmbach exec and a fine photographer.
Richard Koenig Very interesting shot for the railroad landscape as well: this was prior to the Kennedy Expressway plowing through. Quite the hot-spot back in the day I would imagine.
Matthias Casey This crossing was controlled by the Milwaukee Road and they held it open for there trains delaying the Northwestern trains.
Paul Musselman No....the info I have read is it was a CNW tower, under their wasn't just to oversee the CNW/Milw crossover, it also controlled the CNW Mayfair Yard, which was just a ways east of the crossover......trains from that yard would cross the CNW main and head north onto the Skokie Sub, which ran diagonally NE to Evanston, joining he CNW North Line at that point.
[And there are several comments discussing the observation car.]

Jeff Grunewal commented on Jim's post
This would be just south of the expressway. Looking at the satellite view, it appears that there currently is nothing where the coal silos were in the short space between the crossing and the expressways are now. The tall chimney is the Mayfair pumping station. The Cicero viaduct is visible in the lower left
Dennis DeBruler Satellite:,-87.../data=!3m1!1e3

Jon Roma commented on Jim's posting
Here's an image of the track diagram of the C&NW/CMStP&P crossing and junction at Mayfair, near Montrose and Cicero on Chicago's northwest side.

Steven J. Brown posted
Amtrak Hiawatha southbound at Mayfair in Chicago - April 16, 1997.
Fred Van Dorpe posted
A UP Northwest line scoot slams the diamonds of Mayfair junction as a Milwaukee District North line outbound waits for clearance on 7/27/17. Theres only 5 places on the entire Metra system where a scene like this can occur, Joliet, Deval junction, Prairie Crossing, Junction A2, and Mayfair junction. Taken on railroad property, without any permission 🤣
Bobby Vladnt Getting pictures like this is even more impossible in Joliet Because the schedules almost never meet up and you really have to trespass to get the pictures lol
Matt McClure And in Joliet there is no crossing of the diamonds by RI District trains with the new station.
Aaron Grace What about Western Avenue/A2 Junction?
Fred Van Dorpe Ah crud I forgot about there, but the angle isnt the same.
Steven J. Brown posted
Run-through ICG caboose on an empty Wisconsin Electric coal train coming off the Skokie Line at Mayfair in Chicago - February 1982. The tower and the Skokie Line are both long gone.
One of several turbo train photos posted by Robert Daly
Tr 335 to Milwaukee at Mayfair, May 19 1981.
Mark Egebrecht They were still in the Phase 2 paint in 1981?Robert Daly The date is accurate. I was pretty careful about writing dates on my slides.Rob C Dargan That track was bad and getting worse. Worked Amtrak in 1986.
Mark Hinsdale posted

Steven J. Brown posted
An inbound Metra Milwaukee North Line train waits for an outbound Metra CNW Northwest Line train at Mayfair in Chicago, Illinois - August 1996.

Steven J. Brown shared

Steven J. Brown posted
Last night, as I was digging through my drawer of slides 1980s A-C, it slipped and dumped on the floor. I spent several hours putting the 1.5k of them back. Some of them fell into the scanner. here is one of them.
Amtrak Empire Builder #7 is accelerating away from the diamonds at Mayfair. The signal bridge on the right is for the CNW's Skokie and Weber lines. Chicago, Illinois - February 1982.

Flickr is almost a duplicate of Douglas Kydd's posting.

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